Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review: Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright

Title: Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief
Author: Lawrence Wright
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Publish Date: January 17, 2013
Source: Library

What's the Story?:

From "A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the now-classic study of al-Qaeda's 9/11 attack, the Looming Tower. Based on more than two hundred personal interviews with both current and former Scientologists--both famous and less well known--and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative skills to uncover for us the inner working sof the Church of Scientology: its origins in the imagination of science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard; its struggles to find acceptance as a legitimate (and legally acknowledged) religion; its vast, secret campaign to infiltrate the U.S. government; and its dramatic efforts to grow and prevail after the death of Hubbard."

My Two Cents:

"Going Clear" is Lawrence Wright's fascinating and well-researched look at Scientology. In this book, Wright investigates Scientology's origins and how it came to be so firmly entrenched in Hollywood. If you have ever wondered what Scientology actually is and why it seems to be getting so much publicity, especially when it comes to celebrities, this book should be able to shed some light on it.

This book is fast-paced and all of the fascinating detail that Wright includes got me interested from the starting blocks. I really liked all of the sections on L. Ron Hubbard. It is hard to talk about Scientology without looking at Hubbard's life and how it may have helped him develop Scientology. He had an extremely interesting and a very much drama filled life. Wright explores his personality and his family life. His life almost reads like a soap opera in a lot of ways. You can't help but to read on.

I also really liked how Wright explored the psychological aspect of the religion. It is easy to see why Hubbard was able to draw so many people towards him both during and after his life. It was also really scary. I thought the sections on how Hubbard was able to get so many Hollywood people involved was also interesting.

It is apparent that Wright did a lot of research on the subject but the book never felt like it was simply a repetition of facts. Wright really weaves everything together nicely. This was a very compelling read!



  1. I've been wanting to read this since it came out. Like just about everybody, I'm fascinated by Scientology. I've read another book about it and couldn't put it down. So this is still a must read for me.

    1. I would definitely like to read more about it. It's so interesting to me!

  2. I have heard SO much about this book! I want to read it, but I know it will also be kind of depressing...

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  3. Sounds interesting! I hadn't heard of it before. Thanks for the review!

  4. Scientology is a very interesting to me. Actually... all religions are other then my own. I know so much history about mine (Catholic) but don't know enough about others. I want to know about them because most religions do have a rich history.


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